You’d think that with millions of years worth of evolutionary success that lead to us human beings just like this would mean that we are smarter than doing such stupid stuff like leaving pets and children in cars, but no. According to safety experts, an average of 37 children dies in locked vehicles annually, which is a disturbing fact if I’ve ever heard one. Thankfully, there are ways in which technology can help us beat these neglect issues with certain safety measures.
In 2018, the new Nissan Pathfinder will have sensors that will detect when a rear door is opened before a trip, so in case the driver forgets to open the door when the car is parked, a reminder in form of a horn honking several times will turn on. That should prevent a driver from walking too far away before they get reminded to look in the backseat once again. The new system will also display an alert on the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, so the driver gets a reminder even before he or she leaves the vehicle.
Now, while Nissan claims this alert to be the first of its kind, that isn’t entirely true. GM has been installing a feature called Rear Seat Reminder that does a similar thing with reminding the drivers to check behind them. Nissan says it’s the horn honking that adds the unique element.
Elsa Foley, an industrial engineer at Nissan who designed this new feature says that by drawing your attention back to the car once you stepped away from it, it is more likely for you to go back and recheck the backseat.
Hopefully, due to its purpose of saving children’s and pets’ lives, this new feature won’t be in the category of “the annoying new things that my car does”. Still, this just adds another number to the list of things because of which cars honk and buzz and beep.
But as we have deducted in the beginning, people are still to this day upright stupid sometimes. They do many stupid things like falling asleep at the wheel, text, and drive, and many other things that can easily get them and others killed on the road. With all this, there is a real need for effective reminders like somewhat annoying sounds. Hopefully, nobody decides to turn off the reminders due to not being able to stand the sound, but pretty much anything can be expected from people nowadays.